Have guitar, will travel: Breedloves vast and varied range now includes Passport Plus electro-acoustics in both traditional and original-design formats.
Breedlove‘s Passport Series began life in 2004 as a couple of travel guitars. Since then the Korean-made range has expanded to nearly 30 mainly full-size designs, including a number of models just launched.
Passports are split between standard models and the new Passport Pluses. Pluses all get gloss instead of satin bodies while the ‘Original Design’ Pluses – that is, those with Breedlove‘s distinctive pointy headstock, like the dreadnought on test – get Breedlove’s patented bridge trussing system.
Our OM is a ‘Revival’ Passport Plus, based on a traditional design.
This cutaway electro adopts Breedlove‘s own curvy take on dreadnought styling.
It has a pointy peghead, this time with mini-buttoned chrome diecast tuners, plus the through-strung, winged-profile bridge first widely seen on the company’s Atlas Series.
Body timbers comprise a solid spruce top – a close-grained, nicely cross-silked example – and back and sides of laminated bubinga, sometimes referred to as African rosewood though it’s not of the same species.
The timber’s colour and graining can vary greatly; our sample is a slightly reddish mid-brown with attractive wriggly patterning.
Unlike on the OM, the sitka top carries a scratchplate, and the rosette is abalone.
Body binding on both is cream plastic, and the D250 again comes up trumps for its high standard of presentation.
The bridge trussing system involves a vertical post and horizontal dowel arrangement under the bridge, effectively tying the top into the tailblock.
It’s claimed this prevents bellying and allows lighter bracing, as well as permiting more efficient transmission of vibrations throughout the body.
Save for a half-millimetre extra in depth and width, the satin mahogany neck is a near-identical and equally comfortable handful to the OM‘s, including the fingerboard’s dot markers and black binding.
As on the other guitar, the heel carries a second strap button – a plus-point on all Passports.
Perhaps surprisingly, the dreadnought isn’t really any louder than the OM, and the dynamics seem a tad compressed.
Set against this is an engaging smoothness and fluidity, a positive trait I’ve heard before from bridge-trussed Breedloves.
Add in an enveloping, creamy tonal warmth, and the result is a very likeable, strummable performance, made all the more flattering by a VTC system that again does a praiseworthy powered job.
Choosing a mid-price Breedlove from among the many models risks becoming a dilemma, but you'll not go far wrong with these Passport Pluses. They're finely made and finished, and deliver the sound goods within their respective category. In short, there's very little not to like.